CHRONICLES OF BRANDON AT WAR

It was in the summer of 2013 that I was asked to write a regular article, using my Brandon at War research, for a new ‘Brandon Town Magazine‘.  The magazine was a new venture for Terry Hawkins, who runs the BrandonSuffolk.com website and was to be delivered free to homes in Brandon.  I decided it would be apt to write a narrative of what was happening in Brandon one hundred years ago.  Entitled, ‘Chronicles of Brandon at War’, it covered life in Brandon before the war, the lead up to the war and ended at the conclusion of fighting.  The stories are based upon facts as reported in local newspapers of the time, backed up with research of census records, army service records, etc.  As such, it is fair to say the stories are 90% fact, typically all names, events and dates are factually correct, with a touch of narrative and edited drama.  The ‘Chronicles of Brandon at War’ feature normal folk, soldiers at the Front, stories long since forgotten and Brandon people caught up in events of national importance.  Each link below will take you to one of the stories …

2013

Issue #1, (August 1913) – Brandon’s cricket season, a new sign post, Oswald Carter’s accident
Issue #2, (Autumn 1913) – Death of William Steggles, the King & Francis Goldsmith M.P. visit
Issue #3, (November 1913) – Police Constable Gray
Issue #4, (December 1913) – Christmas, butcher Frederick Gentle

2014

Issue #5, (January 1914)Town Street grocer Hannah Prior goes to court
Issue #6, (February 1914) – Magistrate Colonel Mackenzie
Issue #7, (March 1914) – Dr Trotter, Nurse Picket, Brandon District Council’s Medical Report
Issue #8, (April 1914) – Boys in the town, St George’s Day
Issue #9, (May 1914) – Frosts, ‘Empress of Ireland’, Mr Frederick Rissbrook, cricket team
Issue #10, (June 1914) – Church Parade, King’s Coronation Day
Issue #11, (July 1914) – Road survey, Broomhill Fair, Territorials at camp
Issue #12, (August 1914)WAR IS DECLARED!  Brandon’s reaction to war
Issue #13, (September 1914) – Brandon lads fighting in France, Mrs Spragge, William Dixon,
Issue #14, (October 1914) – Housman & Relhan, arrest in High Street
Issue #15, (November 1914) – Ethel Carter, Robert Bullock & Leonard Carter
Issue #16, (December 1914) – Christmas, William Ashley’s view of the Christmas Truce

2015

Issue #17, (January 1915) – NEW YEAR!, William Kent
Issue #18, (February 1915) – Volunteer Training Corps
Issue #19, (March 1915) – Black Out!, Brandon lads as P.O.Ws
Issue #20, (April 1915) – Welsh Fusiliers in Brandon, Edgar Randall, Whitta writes home
Issue #21, (May 1915) – Families at war, Dyer family, Carter family
Issue #22, (June 1915) – Drowning at Brandon staunch
Issue #23, (July 1915) – Inspector Frederick Mobbs vs Frank Edwards
Issue #24, (August 1915) – Car fire at Hanbury’s garage
Issue #25, (September 1915) – Brandon’s first ever prosecution for breaking “Black out”
Issue #26, (October 1915) – The war claims six Brandon lads in less than a fortnight
Issue #27, (November 1915) – Remembrance, not just of those gone to war …
Issue #28, (December 1915) – Christmas, one Brandon lad’s miraculous story front the Front

2016

Issue #29, (January 1916) – Two little boys knocked down by motor vehicles
Issue #30, (February 1916) – New Military Service Act and volunteers for the army
Issue #31, (March 1916) – Brandon Tribunals
Issue #32, (April 1916) – Eliza Docking’s tale of her son Robert receiving the D.C.M.
Issue #33, (May 1916) – The law, ‘Turk’, Woodrow and Bullock
Issue #34, (June 1916) – Somewhere in ‘No Man’s Land’… Stanley Lingwood
Issue #35, (July 1916) – Brandon men fighting on the Somme
Issue #36, (August 1916) – Inspector Mobbs’ work is never done, policing in Brandon
Issue #37, (September 1916) – Victor Winner is awarded the Military Medal
Issue #38, (October 1916) – Death, fire, court cases and accidents; all in a month of Brandon life
Issue #39, (November 1916) – Attack on a Brandon war widow
Issue #40, (December 1916) – A Brandon thanksgiving at Christmas

2017

Issue #41, (January 1917) – Will Walter Faban escape this mud filled crater?
Issue #42, (February 1917) – Icy cold snap, purse strings get tightened
Issue #43, (March 1917) – The Crocker family fall foul of the authorities
Issue #44, (April 1917) – Special Constable Challis intervenes with a neighbourly squabble, illegal drinking at the Plough Inn
Issue #45, (May 1917) – Damn pests! Council pay reward paid for proof of their death
Issue #46, (June 1917) – Exaggeration and lies gets man in trouble with the law
Issue #47, (July 1917) – Shell shock, heroes and prisoners of war
Issue #48, (August 1917) – Mrs Hunt takes on an alleged profiteerer, while Brandon Council snub Thetford
Issue #49 (September 1917) – The times are a’changing, as the old guard step aside – Mackenzie, Hamilton, Spragge, Wyatt
Issue #50, (October 1917) – Frederick Mount resists his call up papers and goes to court to stay in Brandon
Issue #51, (November 1917) – Lewis Halls is killed en route to battle
Issue #52 (December 1917) – Albert William Rought-Rought looms large over Brandon business

2018

Issue #53, (January 1918) – So let’s take a walk round town to see how the war is affecting us
Issue #54, (February 1918) – George Marchant, father of Arthur Marchant (local grocer) goes to war
Issue #55, (March 1918) – William Westlake is released by the Germans, while William Dorling bears the brunt of their ‘Spring Offensive’
Issue #56, (April 1918) – Brandon Police pursue cases of cruelty to horses
Issue #57, (May 1918) – Edward Edwards, the under age soldier
Issue #58, (June 1918) – Frank Norton helps to capture the Allies first German tank
Issue #59, (July 1918) – Brandon’s first cinema, courtesy of Stanley Lingwood
Issue #60, (August 1918) – Ernest Challis – his story of love triumphing over war
Issue #61, (September 1918) – Edgar Johnson’s funeral, the first and only war-time casualty buried in Brandon cemetery
Issue #62, (October 1918) – Disease, Influenza victims – Herbert Docking, Esme Mount, Daisy Crocker
Issue #63, (November 1918)ARMISTICE!
Issue #64, (December 1918) – POWs return home for Xmas, the conclusion of the ‘Chronicles’